Burr Jeffrey Smith
Investing.com – U.S. stock markets opened mostly lower on Friday as disappointing results from three heavyweights questioned companies’ ability to control rising costs and supply chain problems.
By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), it was up 20 points, or 0.1%, while it was down 0.3% and the composite index was down 86 points, or 0.6%.
In early trading, shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:) fell 4.5% and Apple (NASDAQ:) lost 3.7%, as investors pulled out in response to the lower-than-expected numbers Thursday night.
Apple warned that the supply chain problems that led to sales shortfalls in the third quarter were, if any, likely to worsen in the current quarter, the largest of the year.
Amazon, for its part, was in trouble after warning that rising costs, especially shipping and labor, would practically eat up its operating profit in the next quarter.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:) shares also fell 7% after warning that it expects a sharp slowdown in same-store sales in its new year.
ING (AS:) analysts said in a note that the lack of suitable workers at a time of high demand is driving companies to pay more employees. With the largest increase in labor costs in years, this will only increase inflationary pressures in the economy and increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to accelerate the process of “normalizing monetary policy.”
Previously released figures from the Commerce Department showed that personal spending in the United States continued to grow in September, albeit only 0.6% after a 1.0% increase in August, reflecting what appears to be a temporary infection from the COVID-19 virus.
Other data showed inflationary pressures continuing to mount, with the core PCE basket advancing 0.2% for the month, a slight slowdown from 0.3% in August.
Household finances remain in good shape and with household wealth increasing by $26 trillion since the last quarter of 2019, there is no reason to believe spending is about to reach its limits with consumers able to weather a winter storm of rising energy costs. ING said.
Figures previously released by the Commerce Department showed that personal spending in the United States grew more slowly in September, just 0.6% after a 1.0% increase in August, reflecting what appears to be a temporary hit from the delta version of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Zendesk shares plunged 19% in response to analysts downgrading it after announcing the acquisition of Momentive, SurveyMonkey’s parent company, for $4.1 billion.
In the opposite direction were shares of Lucid Group, which increased earnings on Thursday by another 3.9%. The company said Thursday that shipments of electric vehicles to its customers will begin this week.
Actions chevron (NYSE 🙂 Y ExxonMobil (NYSE:) rose 1.0% and 0.9% after the two major oil companies reported strong earnings increases, thanks to a recovery in prices.
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